Normal skin is kept supple by the skins natural production of natural oils and water held within the cells. Oily skin is the result of your skins oil glands working overtime. So, what is dry skin?
Your skins natural oils create an effective barrier to keep moisture in the skin and toxins away. When this barrier is broken, moisture cannot be held within the skin as efficiently. Age brings a natural breakdown to this barrier because our oil glands do not produce as effectively as they once did, so aging skin tends to be drier than more youthful skin.
Extremely youthful skin (like that of babies and young children) is also prone to dry skin because the oil glands in this skin have not been fully developed. Genetics also play a part in the moisture level of your skin as can environmental factors like: air conditioning, central heating, chemicals, detergents, excessive water contact, soaps, sun, and wind. Of course, there are many other environmental factors that affect your skins dry tendencies, but these are the most common.
Dry skin is best alleviated through routine use of good organic moisturizers or emollients. Lotions are usually not very effective because they contain alcohols and actually result in drier skin. Because many man made chemicals have a tendency to irritate the skin and often cause further dying, we recommend that you use certified organic moisturizers or moisturizers that you have made at home, using organically grown ingredients.
Buying organic ingredients keeps toxic chemicals like pesticides and man made fertilizers away from your skin. You may want to check out some of the recipes we have in our Organic Skin Care section. You should use moisturizers at least twice a day (sometimes more often) and always apply moisturizer after contact with water. This should be applied to damp skin in order to help trap moisture and alleviate dryness.
Another good way to help your skin is to soak for 15 to 20 minutes in a warm bath that has 2 cups of magnesium sulfate in it and apply a good moisturizer. The magnesium sulfate does wonders for skins rejuvenative abilities and dead skin cells are easily removed after such a soak. Magnesium sulfide also draws toxins out of the skin, helping keep the skin free of irritants.
These characteristics combined with a good moisturizer create an excellent combination for relief of dry skin. Soaking like this 3 times per week will help keep your skin free of toxins and dead skin cell build up.
You should always use mild, non irritating cleansers. Harsh soaps will only further dry your skin. For extremely dry skin, you may need to use emollient soap substitutes, which cleanse the skin without use of detergents. Do not be surprised to find that your emollient substitute for soap does not lather. Because of the lack of detergent in these, they will not lather but they do cleanse the skin.
Bath oils are very useful in helping dry skin; bubble baths are not. Bubble baths use detergent to create the bubbles and detergents have a drying effect on the skin. Bath oils are an excellent way to trap moisture from your bath close to your skin, helping to alleviate dryness. When you get out of a bath with bath oil, smooth your damp skin all over, then pat dry so that you do not rub the oil off of the skin.
Take care with fragranced oils, natural fragrance is generally non irritating, but many man made fragrances are irritating do to man made chemicals in them. One example of a natural fragrance which can be used in bath oils is lavender essential oil, which is also very relaxing. However, essential oils are actually concentrated extracts of a plants natural juices, they are not necessarily oils, so the use of essential oils should be for fragrance, not as a bath oil alone.
When choosing products, remember that thicker is generally better for dry skin. Thicker products are generally able to stay on the skin for longer periods of time, allowing a slow absorption of conditioning agents into your skin. Moisturizers and emollients should always be in a cream or ointment form for severe dry skin.
By taking care in choosing skin care products, you can give your dry skin some relief, but you should also consider your diet in order to replenish fluids from the inside. Everything that we have given you here is a form of relief to dry skin, but none of it is permanent. To experience long lasting relief, you will need to do it from the inside through the foods you eat and the amount of water you take into your body.
Louise Forrest has created the ultimate FREE Health & Beauty guide. Find out how you can gain access to FREE natural skin care articles, tips and techniques at www.NaturalElements.co.uk Learn how you can gain rapid relief for your dry skin at www.NaturalElements.co.uk